Licensing Status
    Issued Patent US 9,749,388

Overhead & Complexity Optimized Network Coding for Improved Network Performance

Communication and data transfer over the internet is driven by speed and the ability to provide uninterruptable high quality services. Conventional network broadcast/multicast protocols are either unreliable (e.g. user datagram protocol- UDP) or rely significantly on control or feedback messages (e.g. transmission control protocol- TCP, pragmatic general multicast- PGM) incurring a great deal of overhead and leading to lower data rates & higher delays. Many networks also rely on centralized algorithms which are not feasible in large-scale networks with dynamic and random structures. Thus, existing protocols are not capable of achieving the full capacity of the network and will not be able to handle the enormous demand unless at the cost of adding much new and expensive infrastructure. The researchers at the University of Alberta have looked into network coding to come up with a solution to this problem. Network coding is based on the idea that the intermediate nodes of the network combine several receiving packets for transmission instead of only forwarding them.

The benefit of network coding is that it significantly reduces server bandwidth and download time, especially for peer-to-peer (P2P) communication. However, the full potential of network coding is still to be recognized as researchers struggle to optimize overhead and complexity. This is the challenge our researchers have overcome. They have successfully designed a low-complexity and low-overhead network coding method using multiple layers of data packet coding. The result is - faster and more reliable data transfer over communication networks with less bandwidth consumption.


  • Increased overall throughput and decreased bandwidth due to low overhead (3-10%)
  • Decreased load on servers can result in facilitating increased number of supported users
  • Low encoding and decoding complexity – can enable high quality and high speed service even on hand held devices
  • Robustness- flexible structure, making them potentially adaptable to various applications

Potential Markets

  • The invention represents a valuable opportunity to enhance modern communication network performance over the Internet. We are looking for a potential licensee in information and communications networking industry including internet based service providers and network developers.